Smith River float permit applications available Jan. 2

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Permit applications to float Smith River State Park in 2020 will be available on Thursday, Jan. 2, through Thursday, Feb. 13. The permit drawing will be held on March 2.

Celebrated for its spectacular scenery, remote location and excellent trout fishing, the Smith River is one of Montana’s most sought-after outdoor recreation experiences. Permits are required to float the 59-mile section of river between Camp Baker and Eden Bridge and are issued each year through a lottery.

Parties of up to 15 people can float with one permit. A person applying for a Smith River permit must be a minimum of 12 years of age at the time they submit their permit application. There is no age restriction to participate on a Smith River float trip.

Applications must be submitted, or post marked, by Feb. 13. Applicants pay a $10 nonrefundable permit application fee. Permit lottery results will be available online on at Successful applicants will also be notified through the mail. Those who receive a permit will pay the appropriate float fees at Camp Baker prior to launching.

There are three ways to apply:

• Apply online (beginning Jan. 2) through the Fish, Wildlife & Parks Automated Licensing System.

• Download and print the application and instructions. Mail the completed application to the address on the form.

• Pick up an application from any FWP office.

In addition to the permit lottery, the public may purchase as many $5 Super Permit chances as they choose. Montana State Parks issues one Super Permit each year through a separate lottery. The recipient of the Super Permit will be allowed to launch on any date of their choosing for that float season.

The opportunity to purchase chances for the Smith River Super Permit will be available from Jan. 2 through March 12. The Super Permit drawing will be announced on March 16.

Chances may be purchased online through the Automated Licensing System and at any FWP regional office or license provider. 

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